Imamate and Wilayah, Part II
In Part I of this series, the concept of Imamate as one of the five principles of Shi‘i Islam was discussed, as well as the characteristics that qualify a person for the role of an Imam. Indeed, Prophet Muhammad (s) emphasized on the necessity of holding fast to the Qur’an and the Ahlul Bayt after his departure from this world. The first part ended with a discussion about the meaning of the “Ahlul Bayt.” In this part, more narrations are cited to provide a description of the Ahlul Bayt. Narrations from Sunni texts will also be used to reveal the authenticity of the twelve successors and their role of upholding the religion of Islam after the Prophet’s death. The differences between Sunnis and Shi‘as with regards to whom these twelve successors are will be explained. These hadiths and explanations will be offered to further clarify the term Imam -according to the Shi‘a- as a person who is a divinely appointed leader, one who displays infallibility and is unsurpassable in both knowledge and piety.